The Return of “Big” John McCarthy?

Posted: August 2, 2010 in Marketing, PR, UFC

My recap of UFC on Versus 2 will come tomorrow, but I wanted to be sure to say this today: Welcome home “Big” John McCarthy!

The most famous referee in MMA returned to the UFC this weekend for the first time since 2007.  What wasn’t established however was whether this will be a permanent return or just a one-off show.

The UFC did not request McCarthy, it was the California regulators who selected “Big” John as one of the referees for Sunday’s UFC on Versus 2 show in San Diego. McCarthy, whose history as a MMA referee goes back to the early UFC tournaments, has not appeared in a UFC event since The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 finale in December 2007. (He has however officiated for STRIKEFORCE and other organizations.)

There are multiple rumors of why “Big” John stopped reffing for the UFC.  There were talks of his desire to move to broadcasting, talks of him wanting to expand his self-defense schools and talks that he was in disagreement with the UFC regarding their payment policies with fighters.

Who knows the why, I just hope it is over and marks his return.  In the long battle to bring MMA mainstream we need a ref that can call things fairly and ensure fighter safety.  This long road began with Big John in the 90’s its only fair to see him remain on this path toward this end goal.

  1. I was thrilled to see Big John ref this UFC event. He has been a part of UFC history and I think he heightens the fights through his presence alone. I’ve been looking for his “let’s get it on” much like I watch for the Buffer’s infamous swivel hip moves in his ring announcements. Big John is a future UFC hall of famer but I hope to see a long future of his refereeing fights within the octagon going forward.

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